Federation of Indian American Christian Organizations FIACONA
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17 incidents of violence against Christians reported within first 19 days of New Year

Jan 23 Christian Today

Helpline records of United Christian Forum (UCF) reported 17 incidents of violence against Christians in the country within the first 19 days of the New Year 2020. UCF is a national organization that documents cases of violence against churches and Christians in India and upholds fundamental freedoms and promotes values of justice, equality, liberty and fraternity.
The incidents recorded at UCF's helpline number showed nine states with Uttar Pradesh leading the list with six incidents of violence against Christian minorities. A. C. Michael, convener of the UCF, lamented that "Year 2020 has begun well for those who like to harass the Christian community."
...

Contrary to top BJP leaders’ claims, Anti-CAA-NCR protests are spreading, not losing momentum

Jan 23,National Herald

Contrary to claims being made by top BJP leaders in public rallies and media statements, the countrywide movement against the Citizenship Amendment Law and the National Register of Citizens is gathering strength with each passing week. Less than two weeks ago, on January 10, a fact checking site monitored 261 CAA-related protests across 24 States of which 230 were against the law and only 31 were in favour. The latest data compiled by the same agency on January 23 shows that the total number of protests has risen to 374, of which 322 are anti-CAA-NRC and 52 are pro....

The St Francis Assisi Catholic Church in Kengeri, Bangalore was vandalised by suspected RSS cadre

Jan 21 Asian News

Reacting to the outrage, Archbishop Peter Machado of Bangalore said: “I am not only terribly shocked but also greatly grieved that desecration was done to the Eucharistic Lord in that church.” The prelate said that the parish priest, Fr Satish, of the Order of Capuchin Friars, informed him of the wreckage. Perhaps in an attempted theft, hooligans ransacked the altar, destroyed the tabernacle, and scattered the hosts all over the place. At present, little is known about the reasons behind the desecration. According to early witness accounts, nothing was stolen, suggesting that vandalism was the goal..

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A fact-finding committee said January 5 attack inside the university campus was "state-sponsored".

Jan 12 National Herald

A fact-finding committee of the Congress on the violence at the Jawaharlal Nehru Univeristy, Delhi said the January 5 attack inside the university campus was "state-sponsored" and recommended Vice Chancellor M Jagadesh Kumar be dismissed and criminal investigation initiated against him.
The Congress had appointed a four-member fact-finding committee to carry out a detailed inquiry into the violence at the Jawaharlal Nehru University (JNU).
Sushmita Dev, member of the committee, said the committee recommended that Kumar should be dismissed immediately and all the  ....

All India Marathi Literature Festival opens amid tight security in view of threats from right-wing Hindu organizations.

Jan 12 Matters India

Veteran poet N D Mahanor on January 9 opened All India Marathi Literature Festival. The Hindu groups had warned an award winning poet Mahanor, not to inaugurate the festival as a Christian priest, Father Francis D’Britto, presided over the festival. “I have been getting calls since January 1 asking me not to attend the festival as a Christian man is the president. Akhil Bharatiya Brahman Mahasabha had sent a letter asking me not to inaugurate the event, as they would be protesting at the venue. But there was no question for me not to inaugurate the festival.” ....

CAA: Thousands join multi-prayer program in Delhi against citizenship law

Jan 12 Matters India

People of different faiths came together on January 12 to participate in a ”sarva dharma sambhava” – a multi-faith prayer ceremony – at Delhi’s Shaheen Bagh, where anti-citizenship law protesters have been demonstrating for almost a month now. Participants read out the Preamble of the Indian Constitution and took an oath to preserve its “socialist, secular” values.
Senior Congress leader Shashi Tharoor was among those who addressed the protest in the evening. Being a Sunday and the weather relatively warmer, more people, could join the protest, he added.  ..

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Behind Campus Attack in India, Some See a Far-Right Agenda Hindu nationalists view .

Jan 10, NY Times

Hindu nationalists view Jawaharlal Nehru University, where a mob rampaged last weekend, as “a symbol of everything that is bad in this country,” one analyst said. Witnesses said police officers stood by as students were attacked with rods and bricks. Some assailants shouted slogans associated with Mr. Modi’s governing party and its parent organization, the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh, or R.S.S., which for decades has aspired to turn India into a Hindu nation. ...

A Tennessee pastor's permission denied to leave India three months after his arrest

Jan 9, Christian Post

pastor Bryan Nerren was scheduled to have a hearing before a court in Siliguri on Thursday morning as his case has gone back and forth between customs and the court system. There was some hope, even though small, she said, that Nerren — the founder of a nonprofit that serves in Nepal called the  Asian Children’s Education Fellowship — could be given back his passport and allowed to leave the country since he paid a fine related to what advocates say ....

American Pastor Held 3 Months in India Could Finally Have His Day in Court

Jan 8 CBN News

American Pastor Bryan Nerren, a US citizen, was arrested and has been detained in India for three months because of his faith, his attorneys say.
Nerren, 58, was facing the Siliguri Court on Thursday, which may finally release his passport and allow him to return home to the US and his family, according to the American Center for Law and Justice (ACLJ) which is representing Nerren. After more than 17 years ministering to the people of Nepal and India – ...

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Police in Uttar Pradesh, India, Most Harsh on Christians, Sources Say Officers frequently bow to pressure from Hindu extremists.

Jan 6, Morningstar News

Police in northern India’s Uttar Pradesh state work in tandem with Hindu extremists to treat Christians and other religious minorities especially harshly, sources said.
“The UP police force is very different from the rest of India,” Dinanath Jaiswar, a volunteer with legal advocacy group Alliance Defending Freedom-India, told Morning Star News. “They are very brash in their dealings with Muslim and Christian minorities, and there have been several cases of violence in police custody, but by God’s ...” 

Now they have come looking for professors and students in Universities to silence them - an erie ghost from Gernmany's past 

Jan 6 National Herald

A day after hundreds of unidentified masked men allegedly belonging to the RSS and its student wing ABVP, unleashed terror on JNU by mercilessly beating up students and teachers, former Home Minister P Chidambaram termed the situation in India as the “rapid descend into fascism.”
Addressing a press conference at the Congress headquarters in Delhi, the senior Congress leader criticised BJP government, union home minister Amit Shah and Delhi police for failing to perform their duties. ..

Be careful what you wish and whom you hug: Former Foreign Secretary and National Security Advisor warns on CAA 

Jan 4 National Herald

The impact of the CAA, the NRC and other recent internal decisions on our external decisions, on our image abroad and our foreign policy (cannot but be adverse). Because what has happened as a result of the last year or so specially is that we are increasingly isolated.
There has been no meaningful international support for these series of actions that we have been discussing apart from a few committed members of the diaspora and a ragtag bunch of Euro MPs from the extreme right. ..  

Latest News

Protests against the controversial Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA) continues across India.

Jan 3, Christianity Today

Activists and students in Bhubaneswar, Odisha, challenged the government by marching and reading out India's Constitution in the cold evening.
The new law passed by the BJP government provides citizenship for Hindu, Sikh, Jain, Buddhist, Christian and Parsi refugees from Afghanistan, Pakistan and Bangladesh. However, the law intentionally omits Muslims from the illegal immigrants list. Since the bill was passed in December, several protests have erupted across the nation...” 

Christians face ‘heightened intolerance’ in India 

Jan 3, Matters India

The four people arrested in Srisailam, Andhra Pradesh, were reading the Bible at a park close to the Mallikarjuna Temple, a popular tourist destination. The state police charged them with violating a 2007 law forbidding the propagation of other religions in places of worship or prayer.
According to local news reports, the four men were spotted by security guards opening the Bible and posing with it for photographs. The guards then brought the men to the local police station.
After appearing in court, they were  .. ..

Christians in India Spend Christmas in Jail, Accused of Illegally Practicing Medicine 

Jan 2, Morningstar news

Christians arrested in central India after Hindu nationalist, tribal villagers disrupted their worship service spent Christmas in jail before they were released on bail after 11 days – accused of illegally practicing medicine.
Pastor Mukam Kiraad, 35, along with two members of his church, 40-year-old Lalsingh Tomar and 38-year-old Nanliya Rawat, were shocked to learn that they were charged under a Madhya Pradesh state law prohibiting unregistered medical practice, punishable by up to three years in prison.
Their attorney, .   ...”  

Latest News

'Church Prayer hall ransacked, 3 BJP workers arrested. Alleged leader of the attack, Kanai Lal Das, is the husband of a BJP official.

Dec 31, Telegraph India

Three persons were arrested on Sunday night for an alleged attack on a community hall dedicated to Jesus Christ in an East Midnapore village on Saturday afternoon when around 800 people from 28 villages gathered for the inauguration of the building.
Police have said the three arrested men are BJP activists. An FIR was filed by pastor Anup Kumar Ghosh, the organiser of the event at Uttar Shibrampur village near Bhagabanpur. ....

Jharkhand: Sedition charges against 10,000 Tribal people who protested against previous BJP government taking over their land dropped ..

Dec 30 Asia News

In 2017, charges were laid against some 10,000 people for opposing state legislation by the then ruling Hindu nationalist Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), which would have led to the expropriation of land and forest resources held by tribal communities for centuries.
Soren, who was elected last week, formed a coalition government that includes the Congress party and two regional parties: ....

New Citizenship Act, a threat to over 100,000 Sri Lankan refugees in India.

Dec 30 Christian Today

FUnder the new Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA), approximately 100,000 Tamil Sri Lankan refugees, an ethnic minority in India, may not be eligible for citizenship, which may force them to leave the country and return to the island nation they escaped during the civil war. Civil war in Sri Lanka lasted for almost three decades and finally ended in May 2009. Thousands of innocent people were killed during the war and thousands fled to neighbouring states in India. Majority of the refugees settled in Tamil Nadu. .....

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